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The News

Feb. 6th, 2007 | 02:47 am
posted by: luminum in youthactivist


"Wash. initiative would require married couples to have kids

02:34 PM PST on Monday, February 5, 2007

KING5.com Staff and Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. - An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled.

Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. That group was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on same-sex marriage.

Related Content

Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance

Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.

All other marriages would be defined as "unrecognized" and people in those marriages would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.

“For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation ... The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine," said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. “If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage."

Supporters must gather more than 224,000 valid signatures by July 6 to put the initiative on the November ballot.

Opponents say the measure is another attack on traditional marriage, but supporters say the move is needed to have a discussion on the high court ruling."

God, I'd sign it.

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January Newsletter

Jan. 12th, 2007 | 01:01 pm
posted by: advocates4youth in youthactivist


January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

What you need to know about the HPV Vaccine

Good news!
There is now a vaccine for HPV for girls ages 9-26! In June, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gardasil® for the prevention of HPV. This vaccine can help prevent against diseases caused by HPV Types 16 and 18, which cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, and HPV Types 6 and 11, which cause 90% of genital warts cases. The vaccine is given by 3 injections over 6 months.

Access to Gardasil®
  • The vaccine currently costs around $360.
  • Some insurance companies have decided to cover the vaccines, while others have not. Most large insurance plans usually cover the costs of recommended vaccines.
  • The federal health program Vaccines for Children (VFC) will cover the HPV vaccine.
  • Some states also provide free or low-cost vaccines at public health department clinics to people without health insurance coverage for vaccines.
  • Several states are working on approving full coverage through state health departments. New Hampshire has already approved full coverage, and California and Michigan have introduced bills to cover the costs.
  • Information about HPV transmission, treatment, and prevention: (hyperlink to this: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/youth/health/stis/types.htm)
  • FDA Advisory Panel Unanimously Recommends Cancer Vaccine - Advocates for Youth Press Release
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site for HPV
  • National HPV and Cervical Cancer Prevention Resource Center
  • Information about Gardasil® – the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer


It’s Time for a Change.

Tell your representatives to cosponsor REAL, the Responsible Education About Life Act.

When Congress meets this month, new leaders and representatives will be making decisions about your health and safety.

Today, Advocates for Youth urges you to Take Action! Send a message to Congress that young people have a right to accurate sexual health information! Urge your Senators and Representatives to support the Responsible Education about Life (REAL) Act.

Research indicates that teenagers who receive sex education that includes accurate and complete information are more likely to delay sexual activity and to make responsible decisions when they do become sexually active. Yet over the past 10 years, the federal government has funded over $1.4 billion in abstinence-only programs that censor information about contraception. This is disrespectful of youth and simply the wrong approach.

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) will be introducing REAL, the Responsible Education About Life Act, a bill that would provide federal support for sex education. .

Act now! Send a letter to your Congressional members urging them to support the REAL Act.


Fearmongering about the HPV Vaccine

Over 5,000 women die from cervical cancer in the U.S. each year. The HPV vaccine protects women from the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Even though the vaccine has been approved by the FDA for women and girls ages 9-26 and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some people just can’t get over the fact that it concerns sex.

Sex Disease Shot Urged for Girls

District’s HPV Proposal Tinged with Ugly Assumptions


Jesse, 17, is a member of Advocates for Youth’s Youth Resource and was the First Place Winner of Advocates’ Condom Contest.

I am a volunteer with YouthResource, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender peer education component of Advocates for Youth. With YouthResource I answer e-mails from young people regarding a range of issues, from coming out to sexual health questions.

While the things that inspire me to work as an activist are constantly changing, the biggest motivators will always be the people that I help. As a volunteer with Advocates for Youth, I am privileged to witness, first hand, how my work changes lives. I know that every person deserves a voice, and so I make use of mine when others cannot.

The most difficult challenge I have faced in my work is, hands down, communicating with my peers why this work is so vital; explaining to the average high school student the necessity of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and youth rights isn't easy, especially when they have numerous other things on their minds.

More than anything I find that helping people is the most rewarding aspect of my work. At one point, I had the opportunity to read e-mails from youth who have participated in the Advocates for Youth condom art contest, and I was struck by one from a young person in the Midwest telling how the contest had enabled him and his father to discuss safer sex for the first time.

As a high school senior I am preparing for the rest of my life. I intend to earn a Bachelor's of Political Science and a Master's of Public Policy in college and become a political speech writer. Eventually I plan to run for public office, and I hope to win the race!


Check out our new ad for young women of color and getting tested for HIV!

To see read and download the ad, and to learn more about HIV in communities of color, please visit: http://www.mysistahs.org/health/HIV/index.htm


Join NARAL Pro-Choice America for their first volunteer event of the year.
When: Thursday, January 18th
Where: NARAL Pro-Choice America, 15th Street, N.W, Washington, DC.
If you are interested in volunteering, please RSVP to Shalini Batra at sbatra@prochoiceamerica.org or 202-973-3016.

Religion and Choice: An Interfaith Panel Discussion
When: Wednesday, January 31st , 7:30 PM
Where: Brown University Hillel, Washington, DC
Sponsored by Brown Hillel, RI Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Brown Students for Choice, and Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom.
Contact Samantha_Pohl@brown.edu for more information.

National Young Women’s Leadership Conference - Campus to Congress
When: Saturday, March 24, 2007 and Sunday, March 25, 2007
Where: Washington DC
*Women’s Equality Summit & Congressional Day of Action
Monday, March 26, 2007 and Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Get more information here - http://feministcampus.org/leadership/default.asp.

Choice USA’s Generation-to-Generation Celebration
When: Wednesday, May 23red
Where: Washington, DC further location TBA
Also–Nominate a young leader here http://www.choiceusa.org/involved/2007_g2gc.php!

Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS - New interactive mapping project
What: The Global Fund, with its partners Friends of the Global Fight and the United Nations Foundation, has launched a new interactive mapping project to support the “Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS” campaign.
Visit www.hopespreads.org today and help show the world that “Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS”.

Grants for Student Groups engaged in pro-choice work!
What: Do you need some extra funding for an exciting program related to spirituality and reproductive justice? If so, apply for a Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom (SYRF) programmatic grant today!
Visit http://www.syrf.org/getinvolved/programgrants.php for more information.

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Rights. Respect. Responsibility. Condom Campaign

Jan. 11th, 2007 | 02:38 pm
posted by: advocates4youth in youthactivist

If you are between the ages of 15-24, you could win $500 (first prize)! Enter the Rights. Respect. Responsibility. Condom Campaign. It's a fun, creative way to learn about condoms.

And while you are working on your "winning" entry, read more about the war on condoms and send a letter to your Congressional representative supporting comprehensive sex education.

Just go to http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/condom to get started.

Last Round's Contest WinnersCollapse )

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Aug. 25th, 2006 | 01:29 pm
posted by: advocates4youth in youthactivist


Washington, DC (August 24, 2006) Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over the counter (OTC) status for Plan B emergency contraception for women 18 years and older. The decision leaves young women 17 and under with the extra burden of obtaining a prescription when time is of the utmost importance.

“We applaud the FDA for finally making a decision after nearly three years of stalling,” said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth, “but we are gravely concerned that, once again, politics, rather than science, is at play and the most vulnerable women – young women – will suffer.”

“Neither Dr. von Eschenbach nor his predecessors have provided any scientific rationale for restricting over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for those under age 18,” added Wagoner. “Even the FDA’s medical advisory panel voted 23 to 4 to recommend Plan B over-the-counter for all ages. This new arbitrary age restriction can negatively impact young women’s health.”

The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the Western industrialized world - - nearly twice that of Canada and Great Britain. Each year, approximately 750,000 to 850,000 teenage women in the U.S. experience pregnancy. Over 200,000 thousand of these pregnancies are to young women 16 and 17 years old. With this decision, these young women will be denied over-the-counter access to a health care technology that could avert up to half of these pregnancies.

About 70 percent of all young people have had sex by age 18. Most do not intend to become pregnant or to be a parent at such an early age. Teenage women are also at higher risk of sexual assault or forced sex than are older women. Further, pregnancy and childbirth pose series health risks to young teens. Young women who are at risk of pregnancy - - whether due to contraceptive failure, lack of protection, or sexual assault - - need OTC access to EC. No young woman should have to face an unwanted pregnancy when a remedy exists to prevent pregnancy.

Plan B is an FDA-approved emergency birth control that reduces the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent when taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse.

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The FDA and EC

Aug. 1st, 2006 | 11:03 am
posted by: advocates4youth in youthactivist


Statement by James Wagoner, President, Advocates for Youth

“While we applaud the FDA for finally moving forward on the over-the-counter application for Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pill, we are gravely concerned that, once again, politics, rather than science, is at play and the most vulnerable women – teens – will be penalized.

It is no coincidence that one day before Dr. von Eschenbach’s confirmation hearing, the FDA announces its willingness to re-examine the Barr application. We have all come to expect this sort of political manipulation before Congress. However, it is troubling that Dr. von Eschenbach has placed an arbitrary “appropriate” age restriction of 18 for access to Plan B OTC.

Numerous studies indicate that access to Plan B by adolescents as young as 15 did not lead to increased irresponsible sexual behavior or less consistent contraceptive use. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports improved availability of emergency contraception to teens and young adults, including over the counter access.

The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the Western industrialized world - - nearly twice that of Canada and Great Britain. Each year, approximately 750,000 to 850,000 teenage women in the U.S. experience pregnancy. Fifty-six thousand of these young women are 16 and 17 years old. Under the current proposal, these young women would not have over-the-counter access to emergency contraception - - technology that could avert up to half of these pregnancies.

About 70 percent of all young people have had sex by age 18. Most do not intend to become pregnant or to be a parent at such an early age. Teenage women are also at higher risk of sexual assault or forced sex than are older women. Further, pregnancy and childbirth pose series health risks to young teens. Young women who are at risk of pregnancy—whether due to rape, contraceptive failure, or lack of protection—need unrestricted access to EC. No young woman should have to face an unwanted pregnancy when a remedy exists to prevent pregnancy.

I call on the FDA and Dr. von Eschenbach to embrace public health science and make emergency contraception available over the counter for all women, including teens.”

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Washington Post -- Letter to the Editor & Op-Ed on HPV Vaccine

Jul. 27th, 2006 | 10:11 am
posted by: advocates4youth in youthactivist

A Shot in the Arm Against Cancer?

Thursday, July 27, 2006; A24

When I opened the Post on Saturday and saw the op-ed by Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council ["Pro-Family, Pro-Vaccine -- But Keep It Voluntary," July 15], I thought, "At last, common ground on a sexual issue." I remembered the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, was quoted in Fortune magazine last year as saying he would not allow his own daughter to be inoculated because it would send the "wrong message" by encouraging sex outside of marriage.

The apparent reversal of the council's position was certainly encouraging.

My celebration was short-lived, however, once I read the op-ed. Mr. Sprigg wrote that the Family Research Council and other conservative groups oppose the inclusion of the HPV vaccine in state school vaccination programs. He also made no reference to the study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating that women whose partners used condoms consistently were 70 percent less likely to acquire a new HPV infection.

My group, Advocates for Youth, supports inclusion of the vaccine in state school programs because it is the most effective way to get the greatest number of young people vaccinated at a time when the vaccine will provide the most protection. Parents who do not wish their children to participate can opt out.

Mr. Sprigg's suggestion that abstinence before marriage provides the best answer to HPV prevention is simply mistaken. John Santelli of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University (and formerly director of science and reproductive health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recently published a paper in the journal of the Society for Adolescent Medicine noting that while these programs are 100 percent effective in theory, their real-world efficacy approaches zero. These programs censor health information about the effectiveness of condoms, a proven tool in the battle against HPV and cervical cancer.

Common ground on the HPV vaccine lies in common sense and sound public health science.


Advocates for Youth


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Register for the Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® Conference

Jul. 19th, 2006 | 12:46 pm
posted by: advocates4youth in youthactivist

Join Advocates for Youth and Planned Parenthood Health Services of Southwestern Oregon for a national conference on the 3Rs: Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® Learn about a compelling model that is gaining national attention. This positive approach is grounded in the 3Rs and effectively reframes the conversation about adolescent sexual health, ultimately contributing to lower teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates.

For more information and to register for the conference, please visit: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/rrrconference.htm

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This really makes me mad:

Jul. 19th, 2006 | 10:12 am
posted by: meandgravity in youthactivist

National Politics & Policy | Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers Provide Women With Incorrect Information on Abortion, Report Says
[Jul 18, 2006]

      Some federally funded pregnancy resource centers are incorrectly telling women that abortion results in an increased risk of infertility, breast cancer and psychological trauma, according to a minority congressional report requested by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and conducted by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee, the Washington Post reports (Kaufman, Washington Post, 7/18). For the report, released Monday, congressional aides posed as pregnant women who were age 17 and requested information about unintended pregnancies from 25 pregnancy resource centers that have received federal funding in the last five years, the AP/Forbes reports (Freking, AP/Forbes, 7/17). The report finds that 20 out of the 23 centers that could be reached provided the aides with misleading or incorrect information concerning the potential risks of abortion. According to the report, counselors at eight of the centers said that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. However, a 2003 National Cancer Institute panel concluded that abortion is not associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, the Post reports (Washington Post, 7/18). Investigators found that centers gave misleading or false information about abortion 87% of the time, CQ HealthBeat reports (Agnes Carey, CQ HealthBeat, 7/18). The incorrect information "may be effective in frightening pregnant teenagers and women and discouraging abortion," the report said, adding, "[I]t denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice." According to Molly Ford of Sterling, Va.-based Care Net, which supports pregnancy resource centers nationwide, there are "many studies that show significant medical problems associated with abortion." According to Ford, the centers the report criticizes receive federal funds for abstinence-only programs but not for pregnancy counseling. "The funds are kept entirely separate," she added (Washington Post, 7/18). According to the AP/Forbes, a fraction of more than 4,000 pregnancy resource centers nationwide receive federal funding and most receive funds for abstinence programs (AP/Forbes, 7/17). HHS spokesperson Christina Pearson said that officials at the department, which distributes funding to pregnancy resource centers, still are reviewing the Waxman report and have no comment on its findings (CQ HealthBeat, 7/18).

From: http://kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=38559

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Programs will never keep pace

May. 31st, 2006 | 10:39 pm
posted by: luminum in youthactivist

I'm watching a brilliant AIDS pandemic documentary on PBS Detroit right now. Anyone else?

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Campus Organizer

May. 31st, 2006 | 10:23 am
posted by: advocates4youth in youthactivist


Feel passionate about reproductive and sexual health rights?

 Looking to become more engaged in student activism?

 Interested in organizing for comprehensive sex education and

HIV prevention on your campus?


Then become a Campus Organizer with Advocates for Youth!

Deadline for applications June 23

Campus Organizers work with the staff of the Youth Activist Network, running one of Advocates for Youth’s Rights Respect Responsibility® campaigns on their campus and in their local area.  Campus Organizers help in developing media outreach, building local support for the reproductive and sexual health rights of young people, and participating in advocacy visits to policy makers

Stop Censorship!

Each and every day in the United States, 10,000 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease, 2,400 get pregnant and 55 contract HIV. Fifty percent of new HIV cases occur among youth under the age of 25. And what are politicians doing? They are censoring information that we need to protect ourselves. They are funding abstinence-only programs that prohibit information about contraception and condoms.  Our politicians, without our consent, are banning the information we need to protect ourselves.  Take a stand in your community and stop this censorship.


Interested in learning more about being a Campus Organizer?

Want to apply to become a Campus Organizer?

See attached or email caeden@advocatesforyouth.org to find out more about the project and to fill out the application today.


Deadline to apply: June 23.

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